Sea-air exchange patterns along the central and outer East Siberian Arctic Shelf as inferred from continuous CO2, stable isotope and bulk chemistry measurements
This large-scale quasi-synoptic study gives a comprehensive picture of sea-air CO2 fluxes during the melt season in the central and outer Laptev Sea (LS) and East Siberian Sea (ESS). During a 7 week cruise we compiled a continuous record of both surface water and air CO2 concentrations, in total 76,892 measurements. Overall, the central and outer parts of the ESAS constituted a sink for CO2, and we estimate a median uptake of 9.4 g C m−2 yr−1 or 6.6 Tg C yr−1. Our results suggest that while the ESS and shelf break waters adjacent to the LS and ESS are net autotrophic systems, the LS is a net heterotrophic system. CO2 sea-air fluxes for the LS were 4.7 g C m−2 yr−1, and for the ESS we estimate an uptake of 7.2 g C m−2 yr−1. Isotopic composition of dissolved inorganic carbon (δ13CDIC and δ13CCO2) in the water column indicates that the LS is depleted in δ13CDIC compared to the Arctic Ocean (ArcO) and ESS with an offset of 0.5‰ which can be explained by mixing of δ13CDIC-depleted riverine waters and 4.0 Tg yr−1 respiration of OCter; only a minor part (0.72 Tg yr−1) of this respired OCter is exchanged with the atmosphere. Property-mixing diagrams of total organic carbon and isotope ratio (δ13CSPE-DOC) versus dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration diagram indicate conservative and nonconservative mixing in the LS and ESS, respectively. We suggest land-derived particulate organic carbon from coastal erosion as an additional significant source for the depleted δ13CDIC.